We purchased our coffee table at Ikea for our first house and we loved it! It was perfect for that house and that couch. But we moved and bought a new couch. The living room was just too small for our coffee able and with our first child we really needed an ottoman instead. So I tried to quickly convert it by cutting some foam to fit the top and making a slipcover for it. It worked well for a while (we used it as a changing table too) but all in all it was too tall to be really well suited (you can see it here). The 4'' foam on top of an already too tall table just didn't work. But we made it for about 3 years. Until recently, we moved again and I just got tired of it. I told my husband that we had a project for the weekend and here's what he needed to do:
We purchased 4 small (1 5/8'') casters from Ace Hardware for each leg. He cut off about 6 '' from each leg.
I measured the couch height and then the table with the foam (I reused the slip covered piece), and added the height of the caster. I wanted it to be level or slightly below the couch height. Since I rounded to make measuring easier, it is a smidge below couch height.
We also purchased a can of all purpose spray adhesive to attach the foam to the table top. Then I took over.
I purchased this nautical fabric at a local fabric warehouse, Ohco. It is Duralee and I scored it for $3/lb which turned out to be about $8 total! But you can get a similar look with these fabrics. First I covered the foam with a layer of fleece to soften the look and increase durability. Then, I laid the fabric over the foam and decided how I wanted the print to sit. Next, I tacked the fabric at the center on all four sides of the table using upholstery tacks. You can use your stapler if you prefer. Next, I started on one long side, pulling the fabric tight I tacked down the fabric. I stopped about 3-4 '' from the corner. I repeated this process on the opposite side and then on each short end. Be sure you don't move your print too much leaving it off center. Once you have each side tight, then work on the corners.
I pulled up the fabric and trimmed my fleece to reduce bulk. Then I tried several different folds for the corners and decided on this triangle fold toward the short ends. I tacked down the corners once I was happy.
Next, I made my piping using 1/4'' cotton cording covered in bias tape made from my fabric. Once finished, I tacked this in place under the edge of the table top leaving the ends for the corner.
For the skirt, I measured from the piping to the floor. To this measurement I added 2.5'' for the bottom hem (Fold down 1/2'' and press, then fold another 2'' and press. Topstitch in place) and another 1'' for tacking to the table. I cut my skirt right on the selvedge so I could just turn and press the white of the selvedge. It made it pretty easy. Next, I pinned the skirt into place using skewers, making sure to hide my seam in one of the box pleats. I used the skewers to help me fit the pleats just right before I tacked them into place. You can use long sewing pins too!
You can either tack/staple the skirt right on under the piping or you can use a tacking strip to make a nice clean line. It depends on how confident you are in your tacking ablilities.
You don't need upholstery supplies or tools to turn your coffee table into a skirted ottoman. You can use a heavy duty stapler, foam from Joann's and cardboard strips cut from a box (for tacking strips) just cut them about 1/2'' wide and as long as each side of the table. Add box pleats like me or leave plain. Good Luck and let me know if you have any questions!